Essentials of Having a Strong Protagonist

Every story needs an active protagonist!

Protagonist of a story, and why are they so important?

A story is only as strong as its protagonist. If your protagonist is weak and passive, your readers won’t care if s/he succeeds or fails. Knowing the definition of a protagonist is critical to fully understanding how to create a strong main character that will attract A-list actors.

Begin on this page by exploring the definition and essentials of having a strong protagonist, followed by a few examples. Then be sure you get your FREE download of4 Crucial Questions for Your Protagonist to learn how to create an active protagonist to drive your story!

Protagonist Definition

The definition of protagonist is, quite simply, the main or lead character in a story, often called a “hero.” The story must revolve around this character and the overall goal of the story must be something the protagonist can and does actively pursue.

What is a protagonist in a story?

Creating a strong protagonist is critical for developing a solid story. Different terms are often used in the protagonist definition such as hero, central character, main character, etc. Bottom-line: S/he has to be the main focus of your screenplay. The overall story must revolve around your hero.

Some essentials for having a strong protagonist:

1: Relatable: For a reader to want to follow the protagonist character through their journey, it’s typically necessary the hero be likable, but not always. More than likable, they need to be relatable to the reader. 

2: Evolve: In order to reach their story goal, they must evolve in some way to make that final step toward success. Usually, the final evolution of the protagonist happens in the climax of the story. 

3: Direct Action: Since the protagonist is the main focus of the story, her/his goals and evolution are paramount. Achieving those goals only happens because the protagonist takes direct action. 

4: Engaging: Drawing the audience in emotionally helps keep the reader engaged. By making the protagonist relatable, the reader wants to see them succeed. 

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SOURCE: scriptmag.com
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